A couple of weekends ago DJ and I sauntered up the M42 to visit David Stanley Auctions who will be auctioning the Anarchist’s Tool Chest that Chris Schwarz will build with us in July. David Stanley hold several specialist tool auctions every year. Twenty years of specialist auctioneering has provided them with an in-depth knowledge of the tools and related items which they sell. As David Stanley explained this enables them to offer advice to both buyer and seller on all aspects of tools and tool collecting. Since 1980 they have sold more over 250,000 lots of tools by auction, way ahead of any other tool auction house in the world.
DJ and I were on the lookout for bargains and DJ at least was not disappointed: Over 900 lots were auctioned and among those were two English cabinetmaker’s tool chests one of which was one owned by David R. Russell. Amassed over nearly forty years, the David Russell collection has brought together a stunning array of edge and boring tools from Britain, continental Europe and North America. It is one of the finest collections of hand tools in any collection from prehistory to today. It was fabulous to take a look at some of the tools that are rarely seen and now being auctioned off by Russell.
In addition to the auction itself there was a separate tool sale which was almost overrun from 7 am on the first day by woodworkers and tool collectors. Suffice it to say DJ and I managed to get at least some of what we came for: DJ scoring a very fine Stanley No.6 fore plane. I was beaten to the punch on a minty L-N No.1 as it rocketed off into the stratosphere on price. My better half (there surely there to make sure I didn’t succumb to auction fever…) also managed to pick up a lovely piece: A heavy brass naval compass made for His Majesty’s Royal Navy by Stanley in 1941. Though I returned empty handed from the day all was not lost as we met up with the ever affable David Barron, the writer and publisher John Adamson and I later returned home to an entirely unexpected low price eBay win of an unused Lie Nielsen No.8! I’ll post a review of this; the freight train of planes, very soon.
– Paul Mayon